• Hydrating Watermelon and Feta Salad

    Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 10.28.19 AMThis salad is great for the hot summer months.  Watermelon is 92% water, so you are sure to stay hydrated at even the hottest picnic. Try adding mint or basil if you like!

    Watermelon and Feta Salad:

    • 1 small package baby arugula
    • 8 cups 3/4-inch cubes seedless watermelon
    • 1 package feta cheese, crumbled
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar glaze (you can find this is in dressing isle or make your own!)
    • Basil or mint, torn into small pieces (optional)

    Arrange arugula on a large platter.  Top with watermelon and crumbled feta. Drizzle with glaze!

     

  • The Alkaline Diet and Recipe for Quinoa-Lentil Salad

     

    Vegetables Stock PhotoLets be honest, much of our Western diet revolves around processed convince foods to support our “busy” lives.  But these foods can cause an acidic and anaerobic (lack of oxygen) environment in our bodies that can lead to disease and decreased immunity.  When the blood pH dips below 7.35 our body is forced to constantly use cellular energy to neutralize and detoxify the environment, instead of fighting of bugs, viruses, and fungi.

     

     

     

     

    Here are a few signs that your body is too acidic:

    • Headaches
    • Sleepiness
    • Nausea
    • Increased heart rate
    • Shortness of Breath
    • Joint pain

    The Alkalizing diet has been shown to have a positive effect on those suffering from arthritis.  Inflammation occurs in an overly acidic environment, which makes the symptoms of arthritis worse.  For more information on arthritis and Alkaline-forming diet click here.

     

    Luckily, eating by Alkaline-forming foods many of the symptoms can be reversed!  Fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, and a few choice grains (like quinoa and millet) are Alkaline-forming foods that help your body regain balance.  Apples, Beets, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, and Kale are a few especially Alkalizing foods.  You can find a complete list of Alkaline-forming foods here!

    It can be tricky at first to work these Alkaline-forming foods into your diet.  Having foods prepped ahead of time can be helpful on busy days.  My favorite make ahead dish is Quinoa-Lentil Salad.  It keeps well in the fridge for at least 3 to 4 days, which is perfect for weekday lunches!

    Quinoa-Lentil Salad:

    1 cup uncooked Quinoa, rinsed

    1 cup uncooked french lentils, rinsed

    1/2 a Cucumber, diced

    2 medium Tomatoes, diced

    1/4 of a Red Onion, diced (optional)

    1 Red or Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded and diced

    2 Cloves of garlic, minced

    Salt and Pepper to taste

    2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Juice from 1/2 a Lemon

    1. Cook Quinoa: Bring quinoa and 2 cups of water to a boil, then reduce temperature and simmer on low for about 12 mins, or until all the water is absorbed.  Place cooked Quinoa in the fridge until cool.
    2. Cook Lentils: Bring lentils and 2 cups of water to a boil, the  reduce temperature and simmer on low for about 25 mins, or until all the water is absorbed.  Place cooked lentils in the fridge with the quinoa until cool.
    3. Make Dressing: While the quinoa and lentils are cooling, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper together in a small container and let stand at room temperature.  This helps mellow the raw garlic.
    4. Once the quinoa and lentils are cool add in the veggies and dressing and combine.  Then pack the salad into single serving containers (I like half sized mason jars) and enjoy for lunch all week!

     

    For more information about The Alkalizing diet, click here

  • Refreshing Homemade Cucumber Aloe Face Mist

    This face & body mist brings is amazingly refreshing on a hot summer day – and it has major benefits for your skin. The rose water helps reduce any redness and swelling of the skin, while also acting as an astringent. The cucumber soothes and softens your skin, and also provides a cooling effect. The lemon acts as a natural exfoliator, leaving your skin smooth and soft. The aloe soothes your skin, promotes blood circulation, and improves your skin’s elasticity. Here’s how to make this refreshing cucumber aloe mist.

    What you need:
    1 cucumber
    1 squeeze of lemon
    1 teaspoon aloe vera gel (can be purchased at your local health food store)
    1 tablespoon rosewater (can be purchased at your local health food store)Homemade-cucumber-aloe-face-mist

    You’ll also need a blender, a cheese cloth, a small bowl, and a spray bottle to store your mixture.

    What you do:
    Peel your cucumber and cut it up into little pieces. Place the pieces in a blender and blend on high for about 1 minute.

    Cover a small bowl with a cheese cloth and strain the juice into the bowl.

    Add the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and mix.

    Transfer your mixture into a spray bottle and mist away! You can add some distilled water if you want to dilute the mixture a bit. Store this in your fridge so that it doesn’t spoil. It should last about a week.

  • Safe Natural Sunscreen Recipe

    For safe summer fun, you want to protect your skin.  But for many people it also means steering clear of many of the chemicals and preservatives found in commercial sunscreens.  There are a number of excellent natural sunscreens on the market, but I discovered its actually easy and affordable to make your own.

    sunscreen

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil (natural SPF 4)
    • 1/4 cup beeswax
    • 2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide (This is a non-nano version that won’t be absorbed into the skin. Be careful not to inhale the powder). This makes a natural SPF of 20+ or more can be added.)
    • Optional: 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
    • Optional: 2 tablespoons Shea Butter (natural SPF 4-5)
    • Optional: Essential Oils, Vanilla Extract or other natural extracts to suit your preference

    How to Make Natural Sunscreen:

    1. Combine ingredients except zinc oxide in a pint sized or larger glass jar. I have a mason jar that I keep just for making lotions and lotion bars, or you can even reuse a glass jar from pickles, olives or other foods.
    2. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.
    3. Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.
    4. As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide, stir in well and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!
    5. Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.
    6. Use as you would regular sunscreen. Best if used within six months.

    Additional Notes:

    • This sunscreen is somewhat but not completely waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming
    • Make sure not to inhale the Zinc Oxide- use a mask if necessary!
    • This recipe has an SPF of about 20, though adding more Zinc Oxide will increase the SPF
    • Add more beeswax to make thicker sunscreen, less to make smooth sunscreen
    • I recommend coconut or vanilla extract or lavender essential oils for fragrance
    • Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge
    • I prefer to store in a small canning jar and apply like a body butter. It will be thicker, especially if you use coconut oil in the recipe.
    • remove the Zinc Oxide and this makes an excellent lotion recipe!

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  • Crispy Kale Chips

    Kale is a food that you can count on for some unsurpassed health benefits, if for no other reason than its exceptional nutrient richness.

    Kale is overflowing with calcium, lutein, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K, plus beneficial phytochemicals and antioxidants. Tahini is rich in calcium, protein, vitamin E and the B vitamins, as well as essential fatty acids. And nutritional yeast is like the vegan dream food – it’s high in protein and has B vitamins including B12, as well as folic acid and zinc.

    This kale chip recipe is easy to make and is so tasty you’ll want to make a double batch!

    Ingredients:
    2 big bunches of kale
    1/2 cup raw tahini
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup wheat free tamari
    1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    2 cloves garlic
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 tpsp maple syrup
    optional 1 tsp of chilli flakes

    Instructions:
    Rinse, de-rib, and rough tear the kale into a giant bowl.
    Put all of the other ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until smooth or use a hand blender
    Pour the mixture over the kale, and use your hands to toss it all together. Squish Squish! Get it good and covered.
    Spread the kale out evenly on lined or oiled cookie sheets.You want them to be as ‘dehydrated’ as possible, instead of baked.  250º for 4 hours (ish). Every oven is different so you’ll need keep an eye on it and be your own judge. Just remember that too much heat will change the flavour.  Don’t overcook them!
    If you are lucky and have a dehydrator you can use that instead of your oven.